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nascar speeds limited by tire

Require NASCAR racers to run on emergency spare tires.
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Since NASCAR cars started edging well over 200 mph in the 1980s, which is well into the danger zone, and NASCAR mandated restrictor plates as well as aerodynamic modifications to slow them down, many find a lot of the competition has gone out of motor racing on the highbanked tracks. Restrictor plate engines just don't have that exciting power. I contend that NASCAR is going after the wrong factor. Instead of limiting engine power, they should go after tire traction; by requiring all cars to run on 4 of those little donut spare tires. This would have multiple advantages: speed would be limited for safety, but cars could still display remarkable acceleration. Exciting 4 wheel drifting through corners would be routine. Tire companies would be motivated to make improvements in tire construction and compounds that would improve both emergency spares, and regular tires. Low ground clearance would be easily attainable. Less aerodynamic drag due to smaller tires.
gzuckier, Apr 13 2004

Realtionship between tire width and acceleration http://www.physlink...skExperts/ae200.cfm
[Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       Four wheel drifting on emergency spares. Do you have a deathwish?
st3f, Apr 13 2004
  

       "Welcome back to our fourth and final day of coverage of the Daytona 500!"
Letsbuildafort, Apr 13 2004
  

       This is already sort of being done in the lower F-level racing. New regulations require there to be a certain number of grooves in the tires, instead of them being slicks, which reduces traction. Apparently it's gone over quite well, though it's not as extreme an adjustment as your proposed "emergency tires".
5th Earth, Apr 14 2004
  

       At last the 1936 show! While we're at it, let's give them unlimited engine size and boost, and we can have V16 Auto Unions and Mercedes back on the track.
unclepete, Apr 14 2004
  

       wouldn't the cars accelerate slower with narrow tires ?, since you have less tire to put the power to the ground.
SystemAdmin, Apr 14 2004
  

       I read once that the friction of tyres is non-linear, so that wider tyres have higher friction than narrow tyres. The comments in the link assume a reasonably linear characteristic. I think that this might explain why a vehicle that rolls more (and puts more weight onto the outside tyres, doesn't have the same friction as a vehicle that has a lower center of gravity, and rolls less.
Narrow tyres will perhaps heat up more quickly (hp per area is greater), meaning more blow outs etc. Definitely more exciting, and slower, but not safe.
Ling, Apr 14 2004
  

       I think that rather than placing artificial limitations on the machines (engine rpm, tire type) we should instead make the course more demanding. That means short straightaways, tight turns, no (or negative) banking, rough surfaces, slick surfaces, and that sort of thing. That way you get the same level of challenge, the same incentive to develop better machines, but significantly lower crash speeds. Drivers will still push the envelope. They will still lose control and crash occasionally. But they will survive more of their crashes at 100 mph than at 200 mph.
BigBrother, Apr 14 2004
  

       As far as I see it, there is not less competition in racing, but rather more competition. I see it like this: in the past, much of the competition was in building a faster, lighter, more powerful car than your opponents. Now, with the cars being so evenly matched, it's much more of a battle of wits and strategy.   

       As a driver, do I go barreling to the front of the pack at wide-open throttle and earn some lap-leader points, or do I hang back a few places and save my tire and gas allowances for the end-race when the early sprinters have to slow down and conserve? Do I pull in behind that fast car and draft, hoping I can slingshot around him on the inside as the turn flattens out, or do I go with the other guy that can carry me full speed down the long straight backstretch?   

       'Make them use less sticky tires' is just more accidents waiting to happen.
Freefall, Apr 14 2004
  
      
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